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Goodyear cuts production 30% due to Rita

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has reduced production at its North American tire plants by 30% due to raw material supply problems in Texas and Louisiana caused by Hurricane Rita.

Goodyear officials say the reductions are temporary.

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker is discussing priority product needs with customers, according to Christopher Clark, Goodyear's senior vice president, global sourcing.

"At our present production and inventory levels, we currently anticipate that we have the ability to meet our obligations," says Clark.

In addition, Goodyear's chemical facilities in Houston, Baymont and Beaumont, Texas, suspended operation in anticipation of Hurricane Rita.

Production has resumed in Houston and Baymont after the hurricane and the Beaumont plant resumed partial production last Friday.

Goodyear officials are assessing the impact of recent Hurricane Rita-related actions on the company's financial results.

Most of the impact "will be related to higher production and raw material costs as well as higher transportation expenses, the effects of which will be felt in the third and fourth quarters."

Last week, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announced it was reducing production at two of its plants due to damage caused by Rita.

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